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Quincy Market, the historic and spiritual market center of Boston, may get a 21st century face-lift soon.
After four decades, the operator of the market says Quincy Market and the two brick buildings housing office space and retail chains along either side are awaiting a renovation.
The granite-columned marketplace, located behind red-brick Faneuil Hall, is among the world’s top tourist destinations as it attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Quincy Market had opened in the year 1826 behind Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall to provide more market space to the shoppers, especially for food sellers.
As many as 22 million annual visitors throng at the market place seeking a taste of the revolutionary history of Boston and a cup of New England clam chowder.
A New York-based real estate investment company, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation, holds the ground lease to run the market since 2011.
According to the firm, it wishes to turn the market into an “urban oasis” that would appeal more to the residents and entities venturing back into downtown.
Initially, the company wants to carry the renovation works at the existing office space in the South Market building and 180-room boutique hotel. Some of the other projects include installation of the Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo on the top floor, redesigning of the crowded food court of the building with sit-down restaurants, more open space and attractive moveable bars.
The firm also plans to introduce ping pong tables, shuffleboard and performance spaces along the prominent cobblestone paths to organize live music, poetry and book readings.
“We want to create something more whimsical. It needs to be a place where people just congregate. Where there’s always something to do. Where everyone takes part in celebrating this public realm,” Barry Lustig, Ashkenazy’s executive vice president, said.
The plan is still in the elementary stage as approval of city authorities is still awaited. Meanwhile, preservationists, urban planners, architects and designers are extending their complete support to the renovation project.